In Karnataka, Lingayats want to be recognised as a separate religion even as Veerashaivas claim that Lingayats belong to their faith and hence, to Hinduism. Gauri Lankesh breaks down this debate in her final op-ed for The Wire.
The bench was hearing an appeal against the ban on Kannada book Basava Vachana Deepthi by scholar, mystic and writer Mate Mahadevi.
Because of leaders and texts being dispersed across the country, much of the original Lingayat teaching was lost for centuries, giving rise to various confusions.
While the Veerashaivas emerged in opposition to dominant Brahmanical Hindu traditions, in more recent times they haven’t asserted their dissensions.
The Congress’s backing of the demand is being seen as an attempt to woo Lingayat votes and undercut the BJP’s push for Hindu consolidation.
The context of Kalburgi’s life’s work – and the likely context of his death – is the fraught cultural politics of the Lingayat community in Karnataka.